My wife and I recently attended a concert with two acts. The one that opened the evening concentrated their efforts on the beat and rhythm. Their lyrics were “so-so”. Not very engaging.
The main act focused more on the lyrics then the rhythm or beat of music that is popular or that “sells” today. While the music was good, it was the lyrics together with the artist that made his art engaging.
He made us stand (at least) 5 times during his concert. “Clap your hands” he said (meaning get involved and help me). He called us by name (“Chicago”) many times during his performance (he didn’t want us to feel like strangers). His background changed photographic images and subtle videos to enhance the meaning of the song he was singing.
The first artist felt she was “there” and we were only to watch. Scripted and stiff, it appeared as if she felt we were supposed to be in awe of her. Sadly, her performance didn’t engage. It was quickly forgotten.
I was jealous of the main act for his words together with his piano playing was so rich in imagery. He painted on a canvas what only the heart could see. Making us a part of him during the 90 minutes was very important for him to achieve.
He believed what he said. I believe what he wrote, sang, and showed had already touched his own heart in some way. He wanted to share so badly what (I’m guessing) others around him felt but could never describe. Or maybe had taken for granted.
His words, music, and passion was to be shared with friends not strangers. It demanded a closeness that only he could try to achieve. He didn’t wait for us to get close. He took the first step as should we.
Two artists doing the same thing. Yet they focused so differently on their work resulting in two drastically different outcomes.
Never assume that your work is ever done or that your performance is the only way that it could be done. We never “arrive” but only evolve. Today brings us the hope that we can grow and change in some small way that will bring our heart together with our mind in ways that we can engage others.
Bringing others close so that they too can see their heart’s lyrics, brings a beauty to our lives, that, no book – no formula – nor popular trend can begin to see.